Guess how much this house cost? $US 40,000. Seriously. Containers of Hope is the latest project by Benjamin Garcia Saxe and is composed of two 40' shipping containers set together with a raised mid section and clerestory windows. The discarded shipping container home was built for a couple who wanted to live debt free on their property outside of San Jose, Costa Rica. A simple skewed arrangement of the containers allows a view of the rising and setting sun and is perfect for cooling via natural ventilation.
You might remember Saxe as the architect who built his mother this gorgeous bamboo retreat with a moon skylight. Although based in London, Saxe spends a lot of time in Central America and he helped design this spectacularly simple, yet luxurious container home for their property outside of San Jose. Gabriela Calvo and Marco Peralta wanted to live on their property, spend time with their horses and enjoy the natural landscape, but not go into debt building the home of their dreams. By utilizing recycled shipping containers and doing some of the work themselves, they were able to keep the ultimate cost of the home down to $40,000, which is inexpensive for many parts of the world.
Two 40′ containers were trucked in and installed on pier foundations slightly set apart to create a wider cross section. The containers were pulled apart to create larger window sections and great views of both the east and the west. Large holes were cut from the sides to install glass and aluminum framed windows. Scraps taken from the sides of the container were used as roofing on the raised center and the walls were insulated with industrial grade insulation. New wood floors were installed over the containers and the newly created middle section. The raised center provides natural daylighting and a wind tower effect encouraging natural ventilation, which works so well that they never have to turn on their AC.
As Saxe wrote to us, “I believe that the power of design comes from inspiring others with our work to look at alternate and creative solutions for dwellings in order to provide and gift them with a greater financial freedom.” The project is already gaining attention for its use of recycled materials, simple, yet clear and efficient design as well as its affordability.
Images ©Benjamin Garcia Saxe